Managing Difficult Customer Behaviour

Course Objective

The customers who are the hardest to please can also be the most satisfying, however we need the right techniques and coping strategies to avoid problems, and solve crises. With the right skills, techniques, and understanding we can deal with the more demanding and difficult customers in a positive, professional, and constructive way whilst maintaining dignity and self esteem.


Who Should Attend

Staff working with customers either face to face or on the telephone, and would like to learn new techniques, or refresh existing skills.


Course Outline

  • Course objectives, group objectives
  • In what ways are customers difficult or challenging?
  • What difficult customers really want
  • The importance of Customer Service (quiz)
  • As a customer, how do you like to be treated as a customer?
  • Customer needs and expectations (normal service v. problems / faults)
  • Qualities of the telephone
  • Communication mix - telephone compared with face to face
  • Words; voice; body language and facial expression
  • Communication techniques for tricky situations
  • Effective questioning
  • Listening skills for accuracy (quiz)
  • Four levels of listening; Benefits of active listening
  • Why people complain
  • Different types of difficult and optimum ways to manage
  • Anger management curve
  • Assertive responses to difficult situations
  • Gracious ways to say "no"
  • Staying calm under pressure
  • Taking things professionally and not personally
  • Personal action plan



  • The ability to see beyond the difficulty
  • Understanding why people may be demanding
  • Techniques and key words to soothe and calm difficult customers
  • Improved communication skills
  • Staying serene when confronted with outbursts of anger


© Candy Bowman 2013

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